Over the past few months, I have been
contemplating God’s blessing.What does
the word blessing mean?It means,
approval.In a spiritual sense, it
means, God’s approval.Come with me as
we look at God’s promised blessing in the Bible.
unto the Lord: thy blessing [is] upon thy people.”“Blessings [are] upon the head of the
just.”Psalm 3:8; Proverbs 10:6.God blesses us for doing what is right.
“Nothing can do us real good without
the blessing of God.What God blesses is
blessed.Therefore ‘a little that a
righteous man hath is better that the riches of many wicked.’Psalm 37:16.The little with the blessing of
God is more efficient, and it will extend farther.The grace of God will make a little go a great
ways.When we devote ourselves to the
affairs of the kingdom
of God, He will mind our
affairs.”Our High Calling, 196.
“If the mind is educated to
contemplate heavenly things, the appetite will not be satisfied with that which
is cheap and common.We must bear in
mind that the Lord is prepared to do great things for us, but we must be
prepared to receive these things by emptying from the heart all
self-sufficiency and self-confidence.The Lord alone is to be exalted.‘Them that honour me,’ He says, ‘I will honour.’1Samuel 2:30.We need not be on the strain for recognition, for ‘the Lord knoweth them that are his.’11Timothy 2:19.Those who do not put confidence in themselves, but look with distrust
upon their own work, are the ones to whom the Lord will reveal His glory.They will make the best use of the blessings
received.”This Day With God, 300.
God’s Law is a blessing.“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing
and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God,
which I command you this day.”Deuteronomy 11:26, 27.
Travel in a third world country
certainly brings better understanding of how law is a blessing.A number of years ago I traveled to the Philippines to
attend a camp meeting.I was amazed to
see as we drove that when a traffic light turned red, the drivers ignored the
red light and continued going through the intersection for a while.There was a policeman on the corner, but he
did not do anything about all the cars going through against the red
light.He did not attempt to pull anyone
over for disobeying the signal.Later,
we were in a hurry to get to the airport; we were in danger of missing our
flight home.Our driver actually drove
on the wrong side of the road to get past a traffic jam.As we were traveling on the wrong side of the
road, oncoming vehicles had to move out of our way to keep from hitting
When I returned to the United States,
I really appreciated the traffic laws that we have and the police who actually
enforce the laws.Truly, obedience to
law is a blessing.
“Let it be made plain that the way of
God’s commandments is the way of life.God has established the laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary
exactions.Every ‘Thou shalt not,’ whether in physical or in moral law, implies a
promise.If we obey it, blessing will
attend our steps.God never forces us to
do right, but He seeks to save us from the evil and lead us to the good.”The Ministry of Healing, 114.
Ellen White expressed how God’s Law
can be a blessing to families: “The Lord is full of loving-kindness, mercy, and
truth.His law is holy, just, and good,
and must be obeyed by parents and children.The rules which should regulate the lives of parents and children flow
from a heart of infinite love, and God’s
rich blessing will rest upon those parents who administer His law in their
homes, and upon the children who obey this law.”The Adventist Home, 311, 312.
Counsel was also given as to how a
blessing may be missed: “The young man who makes the Bible his guide need not
mistake the path of duty and of safety.That Book will teach him to preserve his integrity of character, to be
truthful, to practice no deception.It
will teach him that he must never transgress God’s law in order to accomplish a
desired object, even though to obey involves a sacrifice.It will teach him that the blessing of heaven
will not rest upon him if he departs from the path of right doing; that
although men may appear to prosper in disobedience, they will surely reap the
fruit of their sowing.”Counsels to Parents,
Teachers, and Students, 449, 450.
God’s people will receive showers of
blessing.“I will make them and the
places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down
in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”Ezekiel 34:26.These “showers of blessing” may be realized
in material ways and spiritual ways.
“God is constantly giving His blessing
to His dependent children, in the sunshine and showers, which cause vegetation
to flourish, and the earth to yield her bounties for the service of man.These blessings are not bestowed upon us to
encourage our selfish natures, by retaining the treasures of God’s bounty, and
fixing our affections on them, but that we may render back to the Giver, gifts
and offerings.This is the least
expression of gratitude and love that we can return to our benevolent
Creator.”Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 99.
“He who seeks to give light to others
will himself be blessed.‘There shall be
showers of blessing.’‘He that watereth shall be watered also himself.’Ezekiel 34:26; Proverbs 11:25.God could have reached His object in saving
sinners without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like
Christ’s, we must share in His work.”The Desire of Ages, 142.
“Today you are to have your vessel
purified, that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of
the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will
fill every soul that is purified from every defilement.It is our work today to yield our souls to
Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of
the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”Evangelism, 701.
[is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”Psalm 1:1.
“The ungodly are those who do not love
and obey the commandments of God, but go contrary to them.This is the class of counselors you are
warned to shun,—the class which Satan uses to lead youth astray.Their counsel, their
suggestions, are of a character to make light of sin, to ridicule
righteousness. …They are represented as
standing in the way of sinners, always leading them out of the straight path of
duty and obedience to God’s commandments into paths of disobedience.”Sons and Daughters of God, 211.
While attending university, I learned
that there is a lot of cheating among the students.In a circuits lab
that was required for my Electrical Engineering degree, my lab partner had
access to all the answers.I did the
majority of the required lab work.He
did very little of the work, and what he did do he would always check to make
sure was right—according to the answers he had.Students could buy answers for tests or labs from other students.The way of the world is to cheat.
The counsel of the ungodly leads us
away from the path that God would have us walk.If we walk in God’s path we are blessed.
“Those who have the blessing of the
Lord are highly favored. …Be sure,
then, that you do not choose the ungodly as your companions, for they will
influence you to do those very things that will displease God and deprive you
of His blessing.”That I May Know Him, 319.
“Blessed [is he whose] transgression
[is] forgiven, [whose] sin [is] covered.”Psalm 32:1.“The blessing comes
because of pardon; pardon comes through faith that the sin, confessed and
repented of, is borne by the great Sin Bearer.Thus from Christ cometh all our blessings.”Our High Calling, 83.
“Do not worry yourself out of the arms
of the dear Saviour, but rest trustingly in
faith.He loves you; He cares for
you.He is blessing you and will give
you His peace and grace.He is saying to
you, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee.’Matthew 9:2.You may be depressed with bodily infirmities, but that is not evidence
that the Lord is not working in your behalf every day.He will pardon you,
and that abundantly.Gather to your soul
the sweet promises of God.Jesus is our
constant, unfailing friend, and He wants you to trust in Him. …Look away from yourself to the perfection of
Christ.”That I May Know Him, 285.
“Another said that he had been in
discouragement, and almost in despair, but the words spoken in these morning
meetings had helped him.Rays of light
had broken in upon his mind, dispelling the dark clouds that enshrouded him,
and he felt that the Lord, for Christ’s sake, had forgiven his sins.He could now see that unbelief had been the greatest hindrance to his enjoyment of the
blessing of God.”Review and Herald, June 10, 1884.
We are blessed when we are released
from the bondage of guilt for the sins that we have committed.
We are blessed when we give back to
God some of what He has given to us.“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in
mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord
of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a
blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].”Malachi 3:10.
“God cannot bless men in lands and
flocks when they do not use his blessings for his glory.He cannot trust his treasure to those who
misapply it.In the simplest language
the Lord has told his children what he requires of them.They are to pay tithes of all they possess,
and to make offerings of that which he bestows upon them.His mercies and blessings have been abundant
and systematic.He sends down his rain and
sunshine, and causes vegetation to flourish.He gives the seasons; sowing and reaping-time come in their order; and
the unfailing goodness of God calls for something better than the ingratitude
and forgetfulness that men render to him.Shall we not return to God, and with grateful hearts present our tithes
and offerings?The Lord has made duty so
plain that if we neglect to fulfill his requirements we shall be without
excuse.The Lord has left his goods in
the hands of his servants to be handled with equity, that the gospel may be
preached in all the world.The arrangement and provision for the spread
of his truth in the world has not been left to chance.The tithe is the Lord’s, it is his interest
money, and it is to be paid regularly and promptly into his treasury.We are to render him his own with gladness
for his love toward those who are so undeserving of his mercy.”The
Signs of the Times,January
There are many other blessings
pronounced in the Bible, but as I was thinking of these blessings, I asked
myself the question, How can I obtain the blessing of
God?The story that came to my mind was
the story of Jacob when he wrestled with the angel.Then I asked myself, What
were the steps that Jacob took before he received God’s blessing?We can all learn from Jacob’s experience and
how he received God’s blessing.We can
learn what God blesses.
Jacob did all in his power to atone
for his wrong against his brother.(Read
Genesis 32:3–5, 13–21.) He sent presents
to his brother.
“He [Jacob] did all in his power to
atone for the wrong to his brother and to avert the threatened danger, and then
in humiliation and repentance he pleaded for divine protection: Thou ‘saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy
kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all
the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant; for
with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my
brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me,
and the mother with the children.’ [Genesis 32:9–11.]”Patriarchs and Prophets, 196.
We must ask ourselves whether or not
there is something in our lives hindering us from receiving God’s
blessings.Jacob made sure that his sin
was confessed; he did not want anything between himself and God.
In reviewing his life, Jacob realized
that it was a result of his sin that put the lives of his family in jeopardy
from his brother Esau.“Bitterest of all
was the thought that it was his own sin which had brought this peril upon the
Jacob also realized that God had
directed him thus far in his life and had led him to the point where he
“Though Jacob had left Padan-aram in obedience to the divine direction, it was not
without many misgivings that he retraced the road which he had trodden as a
fugitive twenty years before.His sin in
the deception of his father was ever before him.He knew that his long exile was the direct
result of that sin, and he pondered over these things day and night, the
reproaches of an accusing conscience making his journey very sad.As the hills of his native land appeared
before him in the distance, the heart of the patriarch was deeply moved.All the past rose vividly before him.With the memory of his sin came also the
thought of God’s favor toward him, and the promises of divine help and
I am sure we can each look back on our
lives and see where God many times has directed us in the way we should
go.Sometimes in our lives, though, it
looks as if the way God has directed us is the wrong way.
This must have been the way it seemed
to Jacob, since he was facing possible death from his brother, but he knew God
had directed him to where he was.It was
like God had directed him to the Red Sea as he
did with the Israelites.God seems to
lead us into places that appear as though there is no way out, but then sooner
or later He opens a way for us that we cannot even imagine.
Jacob recognized that he was unworthy
of God’s favor and mercies and that God had blessed him with property and
possessions.(Genesis 32:10.)He thanked God for what He had done for him.
reason why God does not bestow more and larger blessings upon his people is
that they would not appreciate them and render to God the things that are God’s.Every Christian should often review his past
life, and never should he forget the precious deliverances which God has
wrought for him, supporting him in trial, consoling him in affliction, opening
ways for him when all seemed dark and forbidding, refreshing him when ready to
faint under discouragements.And in view
of all these innumerable blessings, he should be melted and subdued, grateful
and humble.He may well exclaim, ‘What
shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?’The rendering to God will not be merely in
words of thankfulness, but in tithes and offerings.The Christian will practice self-denial and
self-sacrifice to make returns to God.”The Signs of the Times, April 24, 1879.
A number of weeks ago, I decided to
start writing down some of the ways in which God has led in my life and for
which I am thankful.When I started, I
remembered so many things that I could not keep up with recording them
all!First and foremost, I am thankful
to God for His goodness, mercy, and leading, and for guiding and directing my
life.Second, I am most thankful for my
parents who instilled in me God’s love.They have been such a Christian example and support.My list goes on from there.
Jacob asked God for deliverance from
the situation and claimed God’s promises.(Genesis 32:11, 9, 12.)
“Those who are unwilling to forsake
every sin and to seek earnestly for God’s blessing,
will not obtain it.But all who will lay
hold of God’s promises as did Jacob, and be as earnest and persevering as he
was, will succeed as he succeeded.‘Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him,
though He bear long with them?I tell you that He will avenge them
8.”Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.
“Yet Jacob’s history is an assurance
that God will not cast off those who have been betrayed into sin, but who have
returned unto Him with true repentance.It was by self-surrender and confiding faith that Jacob gained what he
had failed to gain by conflict in his own strength.God thus taught His servant that divine power
and grace alone could give him the blessing he craved.Thus it will be with those who live in the
last days.As dangers surround them, and
despair seizes upon the soul, they must depend solely upon the merits of the
atonement.We can do nothing of
ourselves.In all our helpless
unworthiness we must trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour.None will
ever perish while they do this.The
long, black catalogue of our delinquencies is before the eye of the
Infinite.The register is complete; none
of our offenses are forgotten.But He who listened to the cries of His servants of old, will
hear the prayer of faith and pardon our transgressions.He has promised, and He will fulfill His
word.” Ibid., 202, 203.
We must, as did Jacob, spend time with
God alone in prayer.(Genesis
Ellen White wrote: “I do not
understand the tameness in the requests offered to God.We are to urge our way into the very presence
of God, into the Holy Place
of the Most High.We are to plead for
that which we most need,—the bread of life, the leaf
from the tree of life.As Jacob wrestled
with the angel, saying, ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’ [Genesis
32:26], so we are to wrestle in prayer
until we prevail.We are to ask with
an urgency that will not be turned away, that expects God to bestow His
blessings with a liberality that is an assurance to all fear.”The
Signs of the Times, August
“Jacob, in the great crisis of his
life, turned aside to pray. …Wounded
and helpless, he fell upon the Saviour’s breast,
pleading for a blessing.He would not be
turned aside, nor cease his intercession, and Christ granted the petition of
this helpless, penitent soul. ... That for which Jacob had vainly wrestled in
his own strength, was won through self-surrender and steadfast faith.”Sons and Daughters of God, 127.
It was night when Jacob prayed.It was ,
the darkest hour.Jacob was in a dark
hour of his life experience as well.(Genesis 32:22.)
Have you come to those places in your
life where you think there is no way, humanly speaking, that you can get out of
a situation?It is dark, and you cannot
see which way to turn?Well, that is
where Jacob was.
I do not know how God does it, but
when we turn to Him, He will bring us out of those situations.
Jacob was persistent; he would not
stop or let go of God until he knew that he was blessed.(Genesis 32:26.)
As I thought of being persistent, I
thought of another passage in the Bible: “[It was] but a little that I passed
from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I
held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s
house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.”Song of Solomon 3:4.Have you had that experience with God where
you would not let go of Him when you found Him?That was what Jacob did until he knew that he was approved of God and
forgiven of his sin.
Referring to Jacob’s struggle as
mentioned in the Book of Hosea 12:3, 4, Ellen White wrote: “Jacob ‘had power
over the Angel, and prevailed.’Hosea
12:4.Through humiliation, repentance,
and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of
heaven.He had fastened his trembling
grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn
away the sinner’s plea.”Patriarchs and Prophets,
“Jacob would not be turned away. …He held fast the Angel, and with earnest,
agonizing cries urged his petition until he prevailed. …
“Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined.”Ibid., 201–203.
“Those who are unwilling to deny self,
to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not
obtain it.”Reflecting Christ, 371.
“From the days of John the Baptist
until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,
and the violent take it by force.”Matthew 11:12.The meaning of
this text escaped me, until I looked at it in light of the story of Jacob.We must be determined, persevering, and
earnest to make it to God’s kingdom—so much so that we take it by force, just
as Jacob did when he was wrestling with the Angel.
“[Matthew quoted.]The violence here meant is a holy earnestness, such as Jacob
manifested.We need not try to work
ourselves up into an intense feeling; but calmly, persistently, we are to press
our petitions at the throne of grace. ... that the
blessing might reflect glory to God.It
is the design of God to reveal Himself in His providence and in His grace.The object of our prayers must be the glory
of God, not the glorification of ourselves.”Ye
Shall Receive Power, 27.
A network engineer, Jana Grosboll lives near Derby, Kansas.She may be contacted by e-mail at: